Guest AuthorNeha Bagaria

Sarla Thukral, the First Indian Women Aircraft Pilot

By | Sandhya |

Sarla Thukral-the iconic image of this saree-clad woman by the two-seater aircraft Gypsy Moth still evokes inspiration among millions of women to take to flying.

Her feat of flying a plane during the pre-independence times was not only a courageous act but broke many a patriarchal glass ceiling, at that time. 

Sarla Thakral received her license for flying an aircraft when she was only 21 years old. After earning the license, she completed one thousand hours of flying and became the first woman pilot to obtain ‘A’ license. She is also credited as the first Indian woman to get an airmail pilot’s license.

She was inspired by her husband PD Sharma, who was the first Indian to be granted an airmail pilot’s license. He supported her desire to fly and encouraged her to pursue her passion. Sadly her dream of becoming a commercial pilot was cut short by the sad demise of her husband and the beginning of World War II. 

However, this personal tragedy did not set her back and she went on to pursue higher education and become a successful entrepreneur. 

May her tribe increase. Get inspired and inspire others! 

Follow your passion here

Republished with permission and originally published at

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